Netzach shebbe Hod: Endurance within Splendor
(Otherwise rendered as endurance within humility).
Netzach has to do with the “grit” of endurance, in order to persist until victory arrives. Perhaps, victory and humility seem incongruent. One does not generally go into the battlefield, so to speak, in all humility, showing deference and respect towards his enemy. And, yet, it is written, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city (Proverbs 16:32, JPS).
Israel is called to show all humility and deference to G-d, in acknowledgment that He will fight our battles for us. Figuratively speaking, this may apply to the inner battles that we face everyday within ourselves, especially, in our attempts to rule over our passions.
In order to maintain humility, we should be aware of pride in all of its manifestations, such as arrogance, haughtiness, and self centeredness. By diminishing the potential for pride in ourselves, we allow for the presence of humility. Pride is an overexaggerated sense of self importance. Therefore, self esteem is an exception to pride. Self esteem is both healthy and necessary in a person’s life. Yet, there may be a fine line, between self esteem and pride that would need to be drawn by the individual.
Maintaining a modest estimation of oneself and one’s abilities is not an easy endeavor. There is the lure of human tendency to aggrandize ourselves, compete against others, and climb up the ladder of egoism towards self glory. On the other hand, humility does not require becoming a doormat, for others to wipe their feet upon.
An comprehensive understanding of our strengths and weaknesses will grant us self knowledge. To know the truth about oneself, will further guard against narcissism, and the potential to form a false persona. Ultimately, by humbling ourselves before G-d, we can allow Him to raise us up, to build and rebuild our lives, and to cast His glory [splendor] upon us.